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Food inflation is a global reality


Shreya Dhoundial,CNN-IBN
Feb 10, 2011 at 01:47pm IST

New Delhi: Topping our casualty list is this man - Ben Ali - Tuinisa's dictator of 23 years - now on the run. Food riots in the country forced by a 3.5 per cent inflation and large scale unemployment toppled his government.

He's now without a job and without his pet lion - but Tunisia's revolution has gone viral - inspiring street protests and food riots in Egypt, Yemen and Algeria.

Halfway across the world South Korea is facing a kimchi crisis again. Prices of Napa Cabbage - the main ingredient in the country's national dish are climbing. Two months ago they were at all all time high of 15000 won - Rs 620 per head - that's a record 400 per cent more than last year.

So acute is the cabbage crunch that some restaurants are now charging for kimchi - a development akin to Haldiram charging for chutney. The president has made a personal sacrifice - promising to eat kimchi only made from inferior cabbages.

InIindonesia, president Susilo Yudhoyono Bambang is taking his battle against chilli prices to his kitchen garden - urging Indonesians to grow the spice at home.

Prices of chilli have surged five folds in the last one year and are now selling at 100,000 rupiya that's 500 rupees a kilo - heating inflation to a 20 month high of seven per cent.

Things heating up in Russia as well - where devastating heatwave have toasted the price of bread. With one-third of the country's grain crop destroyed, bread prices soared 20 per cent in the last four months - now costing 20-24 roubles a loaf - that's Rs 37.

Next on the casualty list is tomatoes - as much part of the Isreli diet as olive oil and hummus - with prices increasing 8 folds in October - it's now off the menu in most homes. Restaurants going to the extent of not serving it in their salads.

And last but not the least is Garlic. Vampires of the world rejoice - the cost of China's favourite ingredient has risen 10 folds in the last one year and now sells at 13 yuan - that's Rs 90 a kilo - a steal by Indian standards but very expensive for China, which is the largest producer of garlic in the world.

Not that it's of any solace - but if misery loves company then India's onion buyers have enough of it.

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